For artists in the community, Nick Savin has imagined — and is now curating — a one-off dessert theatre “arts day event,” which will include a painting exhibit, a poetry slam, live acoustic music and an improvisation comedy performance by the Not-A-Penny comedy group, which is based on campus at the University of Arkansas.
The event is slated to run from 5:45 to 8:45 p.m. on Saturday and is titled “The Starving Artists’ Event.”
“I like creating things,” said Savin. “I like designing and organizing things. This idea came out of a dream of mine, to move to New York and open a dessert theatre, and also from a need for the improv group to perform. Here, I want to get people noticed. We won’t charge the audience anything, and desserts will be served. I want to give these ‘starving artists’ an opportunity they usually don’t have to get their work out there.”
“I told Nick about the improv group and he saw it as a great avenue to try out something he was passionate about,” said Whitney Masters, founder of the Not-A-Penny improv comedy group.
“He pitched the idea to me, and I leap at anything I find exciting, so I said he could use our group to put on a performance and test pilot his dream.”
The comedy group was started under the name and umbrella of the Not-A-Penny student production company on campus.
‘The Starving Artists Event is working in cooperation with an officially recognized organization, which means it’s much easier to reserve performance space.
The event is set to happen at the Minigreek Theatre on the University of Arkansas campus, just across the street from the Union bus station.
“I’ve seen a lot of events on campus that people (non-students) regularly attend,” continued Savin. “I am a little bit afraid that when people see that this is on campus, they’ll think, ‘Oh, this is just a bunch of kids who don’t know what they’re doing.’ But at the same time, I don’t really care too much, because I know people will go. There are a lot of people involved, and I feel like this has the potential to be a huge thing.”
While the focus of the event is more on ‘new art,’ Savin also wants the event to support the local culinary arts as well. That Not-A-Penny is an official organization also means it’s more likely that local bakeries will be interested in donating desserts.
“I’ve always liked the concept of a dinner theatre, but I’ve got such a sweet tooth for cookies and cake,” said Savin. “A lot of people can’t say no to cookies and cake. We’ve submitted donation requests to Rick’s Bakery, Chuck’s, and Bliss, but we’ll have desserts from a local bakery whether they’re donated or not.”
So far, the event is set to feature the work of around 10-15 contributors. Curry Kennedy, booked to perform during the spoken word segment of the evening, says that his “heart and soul are in these poems.”
“What I hope to get out of this experience,” said Kennedy, “is what every artist hopes for: he hopes to satisfy his urge to affect others with what affects him. When you make contact like that, you’re led toward something real. We artists believe Beauty is something real. Maybe it’s bloody, maybe it’s bruised, but it’s real.”
If you’re a local artist, and interested in contributing your work, Nick Savin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; all artistic contributions are encouraged, and will be considered for the event.